Peonies have elegant, generous flowers, slow growing shrubs, or herbaceous perennials, both are hardy
Peony, Tree Peonies, Paeonia
Plants for Sale
Hardy herbaceous perennial or hardy woody shrub
Flowers: March - May
Peonies are a varied group of herbaceous perennials that are grown for their large showy and sometimes fragrant blooms. They come in all shades of white, pink, red, orange and yellow, sometimes in bicolors and often with the showy yellow stamens providing a contrast at the flower's centre.
Some are perennials and will die down to ground level each year in the autumn, others, the "tree peonies" are slow growing shrubs. Tree peonies are beautiful and impressive plants with a real grandeur, their slow growth accounts for the usually high price compared to other plants, though I at least think they are very much worth the cost and looking after.
Peonies are long-lived plants that usually flower in early summer. They are quite an extravagance in that they have a relatively short flowering period and occupy a largish area with their leaves after flowering to build up reserves for the next years show.
Buds may be damaged by late spring frosts in colder climates, so grow them in a sheltered area for this reason and not easterly facing as morning sun on newly frosted growth can be very damaging. The large heavy flowers may need support, so stake them as necessary. The plants may be divided in early spring or autumn, spring being far preferable, root cuttings may be taken in winter. They resent disturbance, so don't be surprised by a flowerless year after division while they sulk for a while.